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Lloyd Waters: Farewell, Bucky you were really special

March 24, 2013|By LLOYD WATERS

Almost a year ago, I wrote a column about the meat cutter and his friend, Bucky, a tiny deer rescued from the middle of Porterstown Road by Jeff Shumaker after the little critter’s mother had died.

Bucky was to have a most unique life. He became a celebrity to all who intimately knew him. Civilization must have seemed a little odd to this visiting fellow.

His immediate surroundings did not include thistles, oaks and tall grasses of the valley. Manicured lawns, Little League diamonds and concrete walkways were his paths.

His acquaintances included many little kids, parents, grandparents, tourists and residents of South County. It was like a big adoption, and Bucky became the focal point of the community.

Bucky seemed to very much enjoy his status, and I really don’t believe he had any specific understanding that he was a deer. He was far more civilized than his roaming peers.

He enjoyed his neighborhood immensely and made regular stops at B&B Automotive, Nutter’s Ice Cream Store, the Post Office, bank and the streets of downtown Sharpsburg. 

When joggers took to the nearby towpath or came to participate in runs through the historic town, Bucky would do the same. He seemed to love the many aspects of jogging.

I think he enjoyed human companionship even more.

Bucky had a Facebook page with over 415 friends. He was more popular in the social media than some high school jocks.

The first time I had the opportunity to meet Bucky was on a hot summer day. He was lounging under the shade of a swimming pool deck, and as I spoke to him, he raised his head and peered through the green foliage surrounding his abode almost as if he knew what I was saying.

I invited him out of his cool surroundings and offered up a piece of banana. He accepted my invitation, and as he nibbled on the fruit, he enjoyed the massage I applied to his neck and back.

Often, people will talk to animals, but few will pause to listen or look for a response. How sad, I thought.

Unlike many of the other deer who would unexpectedly run into your car or jump on your hood, Bucky would merely walk up to peer in your vehicle or get a rub on his head if you stopped by to notice him.

My mom was a passenger in a car and stopped to admire him one day on Harpers Ferry Road. Bucky came over to her window to visit and received a rub as she said hello.

He would often stop by the Eichelbergers on that same road to “thank” them for putting up the road signs to remind visitors to be on the alert for a friendly deer by the name of Bucky.

There are a lot of people who never take time to understand or appreciate animals. I suspect that is one of the all-time great failures of civilization; we don’t make enough time to be civil to other humans or animals.

Voltaire was a famous French writer and philosopher. When I recently read some of his words, I know he had a tremendous fondness for animals. He perhaps described them better than anyone else:

“Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.”

I suppose that Bucky must have been familiar with Voltaire’s spirit and that description. 

Bucky died the other day in the nearby woods of South County. As the last breath left his body, I’m certain his final thoughts were on all those loving folks who made his life something special.

R.I.P., Bucky.

Lloyd “Pete” Waters is a Sharpsburg resident who writes for The Herald-Mail.

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